Breathing Your Way to Better Health
Give it a try! Place a finger beneath your nose and exhale.
Which part of your finger is feeling more air?
Hard to tell? Close one nostril and breathe in and out a couple of times.
Which one is easier to breathe through? Your left or your right?
Did you know that approximately every 90 minutes our body naturally shifts nostrils?
We can learn a bit about what is going on within our nervous system through which nostril is dominant at a given time.
Our left nostril (and side of the body) represents the feminine side. This side has characteristics of coolness, darkness, the moon, nurturing, creative, emotional, going with the flow, and receiving. It’s also the parasympathetic part of our central nervous system responsible for resting, digesting and repairing.
Our right nostril (and side of the body) represents the masculine side. These characteristics look like warmth, bright, the sun, active, logical, analytical, and powering through. It’s the sympathetic part of our central nervous system responsible for fight or flight.
By being intentional about our nostril breathing, something that is called pranayama in the yoga world, we can help to facilitate shifts from sympathetic dominance to parasympathetic dominance (and vice-versa), therefore using intentional breathing as a means to help us regulate our nervous system. But, we can also help to balance our moods and state of mind, and improve the health of our cardiovascular system and body in general.
Nostril breathing, whether through a single nostril or alternate nostril breathing, has profound benefits on the body when compared to mouth breathing, but we’ll save that for another day.
There’s lots of types of nostril breathing out there! Follow @aubreybabcockllc for Mindfulness Monday videos that will include different breathing variations.